Hoping for the Best - Forget it!
Hoping for the Best? Forget It!
In Romans the 8th chapter, Paul writes about the victory we have in Christ by His Spirit. Unlike the English language, the Greek, in which the New Testament was written, has various nuances and cases for words. The word ‘hope’ is used several times in the passage, but with different tenses.
We usually define ‘hope’ as a passive response to something we want and are hoping for the right time, or the right place, or someone to gift it to us for out birthday or Christmas. But in this passage ‘hope’ is an active, even aggressive word having to do with confidence. In one usage it is a feminine noun related to pregnancy and childbirth – What we earnestly hope for. That is, that which is coming to term to birth.
Our Western Cultural understanding of hope is passive, a mere wish, a day dream. We hope our boat will come in or that our number will come up on the lottery or that by chance something unexpected will happen for our good. But in this chapter in Romans it is a confident expectation of something that is pregnant with probabilities – it is a spiritual reality awaiting the certainty of its appearance.
I was thinking about what I want to see happen this year in my life. I am old, but I still have dreams. But I am aware that I have been misguided in my youth in hoping for thing that were never going to happen, or at least did not materialize without some investment on my part. I had hoped for many things that I never received. Want to see my Christmas lists?
So this year I understand a bit more and my expectation is that is I passively hope for some things to happen this year, I might as well forget it. It is simply a mental imagination worth no more than the any passing thought. Imagination has that element about it. It is passive, it does not create cause and effect and the reality of its objective is lost in the wasted energy or thinking about it.
So, I intend to hope for some things this year. Yes, I will. But unlike days gone by I am committed to pursue them aggressively. I will do my part in creating life rather than hoping it falls on me.
And here’s the opportunity for us all in America as we see the shifting sands of our national leadership changing – Trump is not about taking care of us and seeing that we get what we need. He is about opportunity and personal responsibility. Get ready! You are about to see opportunities to create what you hope for. This is a good thing. A very good thing!